Two Rides Home: A BlogHer11 Recap, More or Less
Photo by Backpacking Dad
Back in April, a few of us DadCentricians went to New Orleans to represent the patriarchy at a little shindig called the Mom2.0 Summit. I wrote a recap of that experience here, and if you read it, you may remember that I was very excited to have met a bunch of my imaginary friends in real life, spoken on a panel, and talked about blogging nonstop for 3 days.
While Mom2.0 Summit is no mere Tupperware party, the annual BlogHer conference is what I like to call the Mother Of All Mommyblogging Conferences, or MOAMC, and this year it drew somewhere around 3,000 attendees.
This year, BlogHer was held in San Diego, America's Finest City (fact!), where three of us DadCentricians (the boss, The Didactic Pirate, and me) happen to live. So it was a no-brainer that I would attend. And I did. We three dudes from the Daygo (that's what gangsta dads call San Diego) met up with Two Busy, Whit, and TheMuskrat, and kind of did the same thing we did in New Orleans. Except we weren't on any panels. And some of the guys brought their wives. (To a mommyblogging conference! Imagine!) And instead of bunking with a bunch of grubby dadbloggers after the nightly debauchery that's standard for all mommyblogging conferences, I went home to my family. So, as I was saying, the experience was almost nothing like Mom2.0 Summit.
I believe that The Muskrat will soon be contributing a recap that will focus on the poignant and inspirational experiences of the conference, so I would simply like to share a couple memorable interactions I had with some fellow dadbloggers while riding home after the evening's activities.
On Friday, The Didactic Pirate and I found ourselves waiting for a cab we were to share after the legendary Sparklecorn party, a mainstay of BlogHer. No regular cabs were available, what with the bars closing and all their patrons spilling out onto the streets; so we got a bellhop to magically summon a so-called "Limo Van," whose driver deigned to take us common folk back to our hovels.
The Limo Van was an '86 Ford Econoline with exhaust leaks and no functioning seatbelts. But what we two journeyman dadbloggers were about to learn made the risks we assumed in stepping into that rustbucket worth every penny.
Turns out the driver was a very wise philosopher, with much to say about the evils of society and the dangers to children that lurk in the shadows of even America's Finest City.
As The Didactic Pirate slammed the door and searched in vain for a seatbelt, the driver began to speak. Very loudly. He would continue his monologue, with occasional polite interjections from his passengers, for the next fifteen minutes, as he lurched between full-throttle and full-brake.
Driver: You ain't gonna puke in my van, are ya?
Me: Um...nope. Yeah. Pretty sure. No puking.
Didactic Pirate: No. I'm good. No puking here either.
Driver: Good. There's always some asshole puking in my van. Every goddamn weekend. Night like tonight...bars lettin' out...sure some asshole's gonna puke in my van. Or do some other stupid shit.
Me: Yeah. Those assholes--they really can be...
Driver: Guy gets in here the other night, coupla guys, they get in here and start fuckin' around with my garment bag, open it up and start messin' with my shirt. I say, guys, stop messin' with my shirt. I say, you're not being very respectful to my clothes. Assholes keep messin' around, get my shirt dirty, I think all right, I'm gonna kick these guys asses. You know?
Didactic Pirate: Sure. Yeah.
Me: Oh yeah. Course.
Driver: Right? So I just get 'em to where they're goin', collect the fare, then smack the one guy around. His buddy says "What are you doin'? Why you hit him?" And I say, "'Cause he's an asshole." Another time this guy keeps talkin' shit, you know? Won't shut up. So you know what I do?
Me: You beat him up?
Driver: Naaah...I didn't beat him up. I hardly ever have to beat anybody up. I just jack slapped him in the gut and popped him in the jaw a couple times. What an asshole. Just waited for him to pay and then slapped him around a little.
Look at all these bitches with their titties hangin' out. Buncha assholes. Another time...
...then the guy says, "Why'd you hit me?" and I say, hey--I got a shotgun in the back and a crowbar next to my seat, asshole. What do you want me to grab?
I got a kid, you know? I don't take her around here, don't want her seein' all these bitches with their titties hanging out.
Me: How old is she?
Driver: My daughter? She's five.
Didactic Pirate: Aw, that's such a great age. Kindergarten. Off to school...
Driver: Well...I don't know, you know? I was surprised about her school. I go over there and half the teachers have their titties hanging out all over the place. I mean, I don't want my kid to see that. That's why I live out in the country. I want to protect my kid...
Didactic Pirate: Of course! That's all any of us are trying to do: to protect our ki...
Driver: All right. Where d'ya want me to go? Turn here?
Me: You know, you can just let me off at the light here. I can walk the last couple blocks and you can just drive him home.
Driver: Nah...you don't wanna do that. I tell ya--this neighborhood. Some people are all right, but then you got your assholes too. Crackheads and pimps, whores. Bitches with their titties hanging out. Won't cost you nothin' to go right to your door.
Me: Okay...well, then...to my door I guess.
(Van Stops, I try to get out as fast as I can)
Driver: Hey! I like you guys! You're all right. Good guys. Polite.
Didactic Pirate: Thanks.
Driver: I'm gonna give you my card.
As I fumble for my keys, the driver performs a loud three-point turn on my quiet street. As he peels out toward The Didactic Pirate's hideout, I can hear his voice over the engine's roar: "These assholes here don't have no respect..."
On Saturday night, after the Aiming Low and CheesburgHer parties, I was standing at the curb in front of the Marriot once again, holding my printer under my arm (I don't have an iPad), and hoping to catch a regular cab--something in a nice yellow or orange sedan.
As I waited, the two young phenoms of the dad-o-sphere, Charlie and Andy of How to Be a Dad, kindly offered to drop me off at my house on their way back home to L.A., since, as I disingenuously explained to them, it was right on the way. Although they fell for my ruse about the location of my house in relation to the City of Angels, they are no dummies when it comes to social media currency. We bargained for an undisclosed sum of retweets, facebook likes, and blog links in exchange for the ride.
As on the previous night, I learned volumes on my ride home, and for the half-hour we sat in the car in front of my neighbor's house, shouting over each other the way passionate artists do. Mostly I learned that these guys are legit, and have bypassed some of the traditional channels for blogging success; not by chicanery, but through hard work, innovation, and dedication that borders on obsession. No, scratch that--there are no borders involved. These guys are completely ate up with this shit. They are, in the words of Andy (assembled completely out of context by me) "Super-charged heroes who cure cancer and destroy charlatans with truth and dildos."
We're even-Steven now, right guys?